No Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes in 2020

As of now, the parade and fireworks are still scheduled to happen in July

Lindsey Peterson
April 05, 2020 - 12:20 pm
Queen of the Lakes

(Photo Courtesy of Aquatennialambassadors.com)

The Aquatennial Ambassador Organization, the branch of the festival that deals with the Queen of the Lakes program, is calling off the July festivities due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Leah Wong of the Minneapolis Downtown Council, the Torchlight Parade, Fireworks and other big events are still scheduled. Wong does note, "As of today, Aquatennial is moving forward as planned. We will continue to watch the evolving pandemic and make any adjustments if they become necessary."

The Ambassador Organization, which split into a separate group from the festival events in 2000, has decided to not crown a Queen of the Lakes or Princesses for 2020, and to call off all activities leading up to Aquatennial week.

A release from the AAO says:

"After a great deal of research and deliberation, the Board of Directors for the AquatennialAmbassador Organization (AAO) made the decision to cancel all AAO activities through Aquatennial Week (July, 2020) due to the spread and threat of the Covid-19 virus.

This action impacts scheduled and potential appearances by AAO Ambassadors, the Community Orientation (scheduled for May 31), and all Aquatennial Week 2020 activities. All are hereby canceled.   

We understand this regrettable action impacts our community partners, sponsors, alumni, our current Ambassadors, and visitors from other festivals, but feel it is our responsibility to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. We are engaged in discussions about how to manage the cessation of activities while preserving our dedication to the young women of Minnesota, the communities they represent, and strengthening the legacy of this valuable organization. Details of further action will be coming as these discussions continue.

We deeply appreciate your support and patience. While these are troubling times, the future does look bright for a reinvigorated Aquatennial Ambassador Organization."

The AAO brings together around 50 young women each summer to compete for the title of Queen of the Lakes, a scholarship program where they are judged on a variety of criterion including their poise, professionalism, public speaking ability, current and future goals, education and co-curricular/extracurricular activities.  They Queen and two princesses are joined by three volunteers, the Commodore and two Captains, who accompany the young women on appearances and are spokespeople for the organizaion. 

This also means that the AAO will not be making appearances at any of the festivals that run all across the state of Minnesota.  Many of those programs have already been called off, such as Maple Grove, Cambridge and others.  

2020 will be the first year since the fesitval began in 1940 where they will not crown a new Queen of the Lakes.  

RELATED: See all of WCCO's coronavirus coverage here. 

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